Brand Marketing: 5 steps to create a strong brand image
In the face of the growing number of companies in recent decades, making a name for oneself has proven to be a real challenge. In order to stand out from the competition, it is essential to have a strong and inspiring brand image. With a good communication plan, it is an essential leverage to gain new market shares. Lack of communication can prevent your company from turning into a success story.
“At a time when the modern buyer prefers to carry out his purchasing reflections alone with the Internet and when his attention is excessively exploited, building a strong brand image is a major challenge.”(Source: ludosln.net)
Also known as branding, the brand image represents the way in which a company conveys an identity, a message and values. Creating a coherent and consistent brand image is an excellent way to ensure brand awareness and customer loyalty. At a time when the buyer’s attention is over-solicited, the challenge is huge. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your company’s image. In this article we are going to explain you why it’s important to analyze the market beforehand, how to conceive the vision of your company, how to implement the design, how to embody your brand image and the value of follow-up.
Table of contents
Step 1: Get to know your company and its environment
To succeed in branding, you need to know your market, your audience and above all your brand. Before you start, you need to analyze every aspect if you want to create a relevant and solid brand image. First of all, an internal analysis allows you to better understand your brand. By examining its characteristics, it will be easier to identify the features you wish to highlight. Don’t be afraid to admit both your strengths and weaknesses, this will be very useful when determining your brand identity.
Second, knowing your target is equally important. Assimilating their expectations is crucial if you want to create a brand that is appreciated by consumers. And finally, determining what sets you apart from the competitors is imperative in order to stand out from the crowd. Ask yourself the right questions. How is your method unique? What sets you apart from the competition?
“Market research is a tedious but fruitful job, because the better you know your organization, the more you will consolidate your brand identity.” (Source: blog.hubspot.fr)
As you will have understood, a strategic approach is highly recommended if you wish to create a strong brand image. It is important to take the time to analyze before beginning to design it. Once this is done, you can move on to the 2nd step: the design.
Step 2: Design your brand image
Now it’s time to get down to business. In other words, create the brand image of your company. This can be done by dividing the design into three parts. First, imagine an identity for your company, what characterizes it and differentiates it from its competitors. Second, create a message that will convey your image. And third, choose values and the ways in which they are delivered to customers.
”86% of consumers consider authenticity to be a key factor when choosing to love and support a brand” (Source: oberlo.com)
We’re not going to lie to you, there are a lot of things to keep in mind when creating your branding. As the embodiment of the very essence of the company, your brand must match the personality of the company and the promise made to your customers. It’s more than just a logo or a slogan. The brand image gives confidence, builds loyalty, creates a sense of belonging. In fact, it is the way the outside public represents your brand. It can be defined as “what people say about you when you’re not around”. You can make the comparison with a human being. Just like him, if the brand wants to attract attention, it needs a unique personality. What qualifiers would you like to give him or her, for example.
”A person needs to see a brand 7 times before remembering it for good.” (Source: ludosln.net)
As you will have understood, your company must adopt a unique personality. The aim is to stand out through your actions. Your goal, your company’s mission must go beyond a purely economic objective. No one will be seduced by a brand whose primary goal is money and profit. As mentioned above, the core value proposition is essential in order to humanize your brand. It must be anchored in your major objectives.
“64% of consumers might buy a brand or boycott it only because of its position on a social or political issue” (Source: oberlo.com)
Once you have assimilated all these notions and identified which personality, message and values your company will adopt for its brand image, you can move on to the next step. How to apply this vision in practice.
Step 3: Apply your brand image
There are many ways to give birth to it in the outside world. What comes immediately to the mind of many companies is the visual. The visual style is a great way to convey an emotion and so is your message. The visual identity is the first point of contact with your target audience. But this is easier said than done.
Your company’s name and logo will appear in all the company’s communication materials. You therefore need to create a coherent graphic charter that will apply everywhere to create the visual identity you are looking for: the name, the sign, the colors, the shapes, … The graphic charter is the central element of the brand image, which allows you to stand out from your competitors in the blink of an eye in the eyes of the target audience. The design is the silent ambassador of your brand and if the target recognizes the brand and what it stands for at the mere sight of the logo, you become much more than a name and an image in the eyes of that target. However, never forget to remain flexible. You need to be able to reinvent yourself and change your design over time.
How can we talk about branding without mentioning social networks? Social networks are becoming more and more important in society and there are many benefits to be gained from them.
Why is this interesting in your case? To tell you the truth, they have become indispensable if you want to build a powerful brand image. They are excellent tools for building relationships with your customers. But be careful to choose the right ones. Contrary to popular belief, wanting to be present everywhere can be counterproductive. You need to integrate social networks into your business but select those that will be relevant to your company and your activities. One thing to remember when communicating on the internet is to always stay active. Being irregular or inactive on the internet can be more damaging than not being active.
Step 4: Embody your brand image
Embodying your brand is very important if you want to be consistent and trustworthy in the eyes of the consumer. A first way is in the attitude you adopt towards the target. You must seek to create an authentic relationship with your target. A good example of what can be done to strengthen the link with the customer is to always listen: whether it is via online support or in comments on social networks, this effort will be rewarded later on, because on the one hand you will gather useful information to improve services or products thanks to customer feedback, and on the other hand you will establish a climate of trust where the target will feel listened to and thus create an attachment.
“When brand perception is positive, it promotes marketing.” (Source: anthedesign.fr)
Moreover, if you want to embody the culture of your company, it starts first and foremost internally. Employees are your company’s first ambassadors. If those who work for you don’t initially believe in it, how do you want customers to believe in it? You have to embody the brand and its culture; every employee has to adopt that culture. Each of them makes a significant contribution to the building of your company’s brand image.
Step 5: Ensure a follow-up of your branding
“As with any other aspect of marketing, it is difficult to assess a company’s performance without tracking key indicators.” (Source: blog.hubspot.fr)
As with any marketing action, it is essential to measure the performance of the branding. In order to do this, it is necessary to monitor the major indicators. There are many ways to gather information such as surveys, comments, analytical tools, etc. In your case, what you are interested in is what people will think of your brand, what they say about it. You will be looking to measure the reputation of your brand. Then you will be able to make the necessary adjustments to correct a mistake or improve your image.
For example, after the launch of your branding, you can ask customers to fill in a questionnaire with questions such as “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend our brand to your friends and family?”. Despite the analysis, preparation and studies carried out, it is very rare to come up with a perfect strategy for your brand image. The aim is to test your strategy, to strengthen it later on. Neglecting to follow up is a serious mistake, as it would mean omitting a quantity of information which, as you have understood, can be very useful.
We hope that this article has helped you to better understand the important aspects of branding. In conclusion, we followed three axes: your company’s identity, mission and values. Through these three points, we analyzed their role and how best to determine them. Whether through social networks, employees or company attitude, we observed together the different ways to put your company’s vision into practice. And finally, it was important to highlight the importance of collecting information on the perception of your brand image so that you can subsequently improve it if necessary.
“73% of consumers consider the customer experience to be an important factor in their purchasing decisions.” (Source: oberlo.com)
Your branding is thus much more than just a reputation or a logo, it is a vision, a way of operating and an attitude towards the company. Its impact on the success of your company is great and it is important not to neglect it. After reading this article, you will already have taken a big step in this direction. Feel free to tell us what you think about it in a commentary. We hope you enjoyed reading it, if you did, please feel free to share it on social networks.
Pingback: How to choose the right colours of your graphic charter? - Bees Boost